From Music to Technology

It’s hard to distinguish actual talent from what is out there anymore. In an industry where bulimia and auto-tune prevails, does the main stream population even care about talent? I believe the music industry has spun off from its original motive of producing music to producing entertainment. Let’s be honest, who actually listens to Ke$ha for her musical abilities?

While I am losing faith in pop music, I have gained a deeper appreciation for live music. One of the places I like to check out is located in Flushing, New York at a pub called Sheehan’s. I prefer dropping by on Tuesdays for their Live Band Night. On these nights, people randomly take turns playing instruments and singing to form a combination of different bands. Even though they may be strangers to one another, I love how the participants all share a firm love of music.

These videos were taken a few months ago. Please keep in mind that these videos were recorded through a cell phone.

Video 1

Video 2

How to Make Summer Rolls

Here is a recipe for a Vietnamese specialty. I like to make these when I’m with friends or family because it’s interactive and hands on.

Ingredients- Rice Paper Wrappers, vermicelli noodles, peanut sauce, 1 lime, Vietnamese garlic chili sauce, grated carrot, yellow pickled Daikon, artificial crab strips, avocadoes, shrimp/chicken/you can use any cooked meat of your choice, sugar, cilantro, basil, and mint leaves.


Bring water to a boil and insert vermicelli noodles. Turn off the heat, and leave covered for 3-4 minutes. Drain.

Making the sauce- In a bowl, combine 6 teaspoons of fish sauce, 1/2 cup of water, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic minced, 4 tbsp white sugar, 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce, and 4 tbps fresh squeezed lime. Grated the carrot and mix.

Drizzle some of the sauce on the noodles.

Cut the Daikon, crab, and avocados into long strips. Place on a plate.

Place hot water in a bowl. Insert the wrappers to soften them. After 30 seconds, place on a flat surface and place the ingredients on the wrapper. You can use the sauce that was made for the noodles and peanut sauce for extra flavor. Garnish with cilantro, basil, and/or mint leaves. Roll the wrapper like an egg roll and bon appetit!

Street Meat

I remember when the craze hit me and my friends. It was four years ago on a Saturday night. We had just left a party when the beer munchies started kicking in. That’s when a friend suggested we head on over to 53rd and 6th.

When we got on location, I was discouraged from the ridiculous line that stretched about three-quarters of a CITY block at four in the morning! After waiting about half an hour in the cold, we got our first taste of unsanitary taste bud heaven- halal chicken and rice!

Halal street meat has long taken over the reign of the water dogs. As common as they are, my friends and I still get a thrill of excitement whenever we decide to take advantage of our city adventures by ending the night with “53rd and 6th.”


Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.” Mike McDermott, Rounders. (If you’ve never watched Rounders, just know that its the holy grail of poker movies. )

On April 15, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice executed an indictment against online gambling. Out of the 11 conspirators facing charges, three of the biggest names are the founders of the poker sites Absolute Poker, Pokerstars, and Full Tilt Poker. Upon reading the news, I logged onto my Full Tilt account.

Texas Hold ‘Em poker is one of my hobbies that I picked up a few years ago during college.  With the media promoting the awareness of poker with shows such as World Series of Poker and Poker After Dark, poker had great commercial success.  Beer pong nights with my college buddies became poker nights. After my friends and I turned 21, the novelty of gambling at casinos was a lot of fun! We would book trips to Atlantic City, Foxwoods, and Mohegan and hoped to grind it out at the Hold ‘Em tables. Eventually, I discovered the joys of online poker. Why drive out for a few hours when I could just play at home in my jammies?

Unfortunately I won’t have that convenience anymore. I’ll have to go back to playing poker nights with friends or driving out to the casinos to get my poker fix. When I had logged onto my FT account, the remaining balance I had left was frozen. The only playing option available for Full Tilt poker is to play with fake money now. For an average Jane like me, poker was just a hobby to have fun and hopefully gain some pocket change. I feel for the people out there who were depending on these sites to earn their living.

These are some of my favorite words that I’ve picked up from poker.

Mush- Pretty much a person who’s a jinx when it comes to gambling. This term came from A Bronx Tale, where the chubby gangster had the worst luck at gambling. (he eventually gets kicked into a bathroom for giving everybody bad luck)

Donkey- This is a person who plays recklessly. They throw their money into their hands too easily, and lacks strategy in their game.

Fish- This term is given to a type of person who doesn’t have a hand of value but continues to bet into the pot hoping he or she would catch the cards to form a hand.

Hero Calls- This is one of the most exciting experiences a player could have in poker. A hero call occurs when a player has to decide whether or not his/her opponent is bluffing or actually has the cards that can beat his/her hand with a gigantic sum of money on the line.

The picture below is an example of when these hero calls can go against you.

With online poker in legal crisis, I guess it’s time to whip out my dusty casino cards and bank in on my comps!

The Straw-Man

Unless you lived under a rock in the 80s-early 2000s, most people have heard about the Straw-man. Darryl Strawberry was an infamous bad boy who received as much attention off the field as on it. He helped lead the Mets to win the world series in ’86 and helped lead the Yankees to their victories in ’96, ’98, and ’99. Currently he owns a bar/restaurant called Strawberry’s Sport Grill.

After hearing great reviews about Strawberry’s Sports Grill, my curiosity and stomach got the best of me. I called up a girl friend last night and decided to check out the joint.

When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised. I was semi expecting a dive bar in a seedy location but instead I found myself entering a high end sports bar- at least when compared to other sports bars like First Edition. The staff was extremely friendly, the atmosphere was cozy, and the walls were speckled with Mets, Yankees, and Strawberry memorabilia. Aside from the ambiance of the place, the food was AMAZING!

Having gone on a Tuesday night, the restaurant offered a deal for $5 burgers with french fries. My girl friend ordered herself a plate while I paid my attention to the bar. I ended up ordering a plate myself after stealing a bite off of my friend. Our Tuesday nights are going to be reserved on behalf of that burger from now on.

I was rendered powerless against their drink specials.  Their Mets/Yankees game specials boasted of $4 well drinks, $10 pitchers. Two pitchers later into our night, the big cheese himself appeared! It was legend- wait for it – ary!

The League

First things first, let’s give a round of applause to the New York Knicks for cinching a play-off seat after last night’s victory against the Cav’s. It’s the Knicks’ first time since 2003-2004! Now please, play and not just play.

Who doesn’t appreciate a little friendly competition? I joined a fantasy league for the first time this year. In fact, I ended up joining two leagues against my friends for basketball. When my friends found out that I had joined a league, I got suckered into joining another one within the same week! What’s peer pressure again? (If you’ve never joined a league before and you’re considering joining a team, just take a minute to reconsider if time is something you don’t have enough of!)

Asides from dedicating hours of researching players, creating strategies, and watching basketball games, I found it to be a very rewarding experience. I obtained experience, a deeper appreciation for the game, and better yet, a whole summer/fall’s worth of bragging rights to the guys for winning second place.  Nothing beats posting smack talk, especially when I happened to be the only female playing in both leagues!

Now my friends are trying to talk me into joining their baseball fantasy league. To play or not to play, I’m still in the process of making up my mind!